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tianity is concealed by the rites and ceremonies in which it is draped. The other class is reproached for despising its most sacred institutions, and endangering their souls by turning away from the means appointed for their salvation. The fact is that the same essential life is produced in them both by diverse methods. Each comes in its own way into fellowship with God, and into communion with all who love Him. The one question each should ask is, "Am I living the life which I now live in the flesh by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me?" "Am I bearing about in my body the dying of the Lord Jesus, so that His life also is manifest in me?"
There is truth, therefore, in the assertion of Professor Briggs, that men may find God either through the Church, the Bible, or the forms of the reason. He is not so far from any one of us that we must seek Him either by ascending up on high or going down into the abyss. These channels are not of equal importance and value. They merge, indeed, more or less into each other, and into one. But we cannot be too strongly assured that God is always waiting to enter into the heart of man and abide, by whatever channel He may find access. Every man, indeed, needs to be awakened to the fact that by virtue of his creation in God's image he has the germ of a divine nature within him, and that God, like the sun, is waiting to pour His quickening energy into it, and to make him a receptacle of His fullness.
Let us, then, by whatever means, and through every channel, seek to nourish and develop this consciousness of God in us. Without it we have no strength, no power of victory; with it we can do and endure all things.
"HE CAME TO HIMSELF."
One of the finest strokes in the incomparable parable of the prodigal son is this: "And when he came to himself." It brings before us the truth that beneath the outer self of a man who lives in the sphere of carnal pursuits, whose personality has been developed in this line of self-indulgence until the very substance of his natural life has been wasted in riotous living, there lies another self behind the outer consciousness, which is ready to make its voice heard and to recall the man to virtue and to God. And this inner self is the man's truest self. Its leading characteristic is its conscious relationship to the Father. "I will arise and go to my father."
It is essential to any man's recovery from the power of sin, that he become conscious that the tie that binds him to God is not and cannot be broken. The only possibility of recovery lies in the potency of this God-consciousness in man. There is no hope for man so long as he believes the tie severed between him and his Father in heaven. He must be brought to the conviction that, however far he may have wandered, there is the germ of a divine nature in him, and that the Father is ever waiting for it to recognize and to assert itself. The God within man must stir him up to seek the God without him who waits to receive, to endow with strength, and to bless him. This awakening in men, dead in trespasses and sins, of the Godconsciousness, this coming to themselves, is regeneration. "This my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found."
"THE LIFE OF THE WORLD TO COME."
Dean Stanley, in his Christian Institutes (page 370), says of the concluding clauses of the creed, "I believe in the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Life of the World to Come":
The tradition that these words were derived from Gregory of Nyssa, whether borne out by historical evidence or not, has never been disputed on dogmatical grounds, and is important as showing that the orthodox Eastern Church was not ashamed of receiving its most solemn declaration of Christian faith from one who, had he lived in our times, would have been pronounced by some as a dangerous heretic. There can be no doubt in the mind of any one who has examined his writings—and it is freely admitted, indeed urged, by theologians without the slightest suspicion of latitudinarianism—that Gregory of Nyssa, held the opinion shared with him by Origen, and, although less distinctly, by Gregory of Nazianzus, that there was a hope for the final restoration of the wicked in the other world. And whether or not he actually drew up the concluding clauses of the so-called creed of Constantinople, there is no doubt that Gregory, of Nyssa^ was present, at the Council of Constantinople—that he, if any one, must have impressed his own sense upon them—and that to him, arid through him to the Council, the clause which speaks of the " life of the world to come" must have included the hope that the Divine justice and mercy are not controlled by the powers of evil, that sin is not eternal, and that in that "world to come" punishment will be corrective and not final, and will be ordered by a Love and a Justice, the height and depth of which is beyond the narrow thoughts of man to conceive.
Divine Presence In Nature.—The most advanced disciple of evolution has acknowledged as strongly as the most pronounced theist that there is a Force in nature at the back of all its other forces which, while itself the agent in the whole evolutionary process, is itself unaffected by any part of that process. The proof of this is, that Mr. Spencer declares again and again that this primal Force is persistent—in other words, that it continues unchanged amidst the constant transmutations of everything around it. Now if this position be accepted it will follow that the belief in evolution, so far from withdrawing the spirit of man from the presence of that transcendental Power that lies at the basis of the universe, is itself a belief in the perpetual necessity of that presence. Let the doctrine of Mr. Spencer be admitted, and whatever else the religious mind may deny, it will be compelled at least to confess that it has found at last in science the need for a Presence which transcends science. Its sense of communion with God will not only be preserved, but justified, and justified by that very doctrine of evolution which was hitherto supposed to be the source of its destruction. In that doctrine of evolution the religious man will still find himself in the immediate presence of the great First Cause. He will be forced to feel as powerfully as did the Brahman that there is really no link of the chain between himself and the divine object of his communion; that he is every instant face to face with a Power which is unsearchable, with a Force which is transcendental, with a Strength which is persistent, with a Mystery which is inscrutable, and that his own individual life is as really and as fully a product of this Mystery as if in all the realm of nature there never had been any life but his own.—Rev. Qeo. Matheson, D. D.
In Proportion as we are victors ourselves in life's conflict, we shall become helpers of those who come after us and who are left to struggle with life's temptations. The views to which we have attained of the organic unity of the race and of the fellowship between the living and the dead require this. The supreme example of this is our blessed Lord. After passing through death, He was able to pour the whole wealth of His being into the life of the race, and especially into that of His own chosen disciples who became the distributors of that wealth to mankind. So each one of us in our smaller measure may hereafter become a source of spiritual life and a minister of blessing to others, and especially to our own kindred with whom our fellowship in life is the closest and most tender.
The office of those " who have conquered in the fight" is to take their place as hands or feet among the members of the body by which the Head is conveying to the whole body of humanity the blessings of His salvation.
Ex-president White, in The Popular Science Monthly, quotes this remark of an eminent Anglican divine: "It is because they have mistaken the dawn for a conflagration that theologians have been so often foes of light."
Future Probation.—The New York Evangelist, of May 26th, contains a review of a recent book by Emory Miller, D. D., LL. D., on The Evolution of Love, in which it notices the author's theory of future probation as follows:
Dr. Miller holds to a sort of second probation. Not to the obdurate ; death puts the perverted into a more hopeless